Today in Worcester hockey history: November 6


1996 at Carolina 4-2 win
The Worcester IceCats scored three second period goals to defeat the Monarchs 4-2. David Nemirovsky had the only goal of the first period, at 10:14 while shorthanded, to give Carolina the 1-0 lead after one. Gary Leeman then put the ‘Cats in the lead with two goals in a row, the first coming at 1:01 of the second period when from behind the net he banked the puck off Monarchs netminder Kevin Weekes and into the goal. Alex Vasilevskii had the lone helper. The second goal from Leeman came from a booming slapshot from the left circle at 8:20, with Justin Hocking and Vasilevskii helping. Rory Fitzpatrick closed out the scoring in the frame for the IceCats at 12:51, assisted by Chris Kenady. Ryan Johnson made it 3-2 with an unassisted goal just 16 seconds into the third period. Konstantin Shafranov iced the game with an empty-netter at 19:27, assisted by Vasilevskii. Weekes ended up making 43 saves for Carolina, while Jamie McLennan had 24 to earn the win.

1997 at Saint John 6-3 loss
The Worcester IceCats jumped out to a 2-0 lead and then watched it all fall apart in a 6-3 loss to the Flames in game that saw 174 penalty minutes and both goaltenders involved in a late third period fracas. Robert Petrovicky got the ‘Cats on the board at 6:19 of the first with an unassisted goal after picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated through the defense at the Saint John end and scored. Dennis Wright made it 2-0 on the power play at 10:22 when he tipped Nick Naumenko’s wrist shot into the net. Petrovicky had the secondary assist. Hnat Domenichelli got the Flames within one with an unassisted shorthanded goal at 13:25, followed by Paxton Schulte tying it 2-2 at 15:12. Schulte scored again on the power play at 17:14 to give Saint John the lead. In the second period Travis Brigley made it 4-2 at 7:34, but Naumenko got the ‘Cats within one just before the period was over with a five on three power play goal at 19:40. Ricard Persson had the helper on the play. In the third period Domenichelli added his second unassisted shortie of the game at 2:53, and Eric Charron made it 6-3 with a power play goal at 8:01. At 15:32 of the third all twelve players on the ice matched up after Rocky Thompson jumped off the bench and started throwing punches on a virtually defenseless Wright. Fred Cassivi made 24 saves in the game, and picked up a leaving the crease minor in the battle. [210Sports note: Thompson was suspended six games for leaving the bench to start an altercation. Reed Low escaped the same punishment because the player he started throwing punches with, Jamie Allison, was the puck carrier so technically eligible to be hit as Low came off the bench.]

1998 vs Portland 4-2 win
The Worcester IceCats and Portland Pirates were tied after 40 minutes of play, but two late game goals by the ‘Cats gave them the 4-2 victory. Kent Hulst opened the scoring in the first period at 2:43. Tyson Nash would then tie the game at 13:10, with Dan Corso and Jason Widmer picking up the assists. Terry Yake gave Worcester the lead at 14:36, with Reed Low and Lubos Bartecko grabbing points on the play. Portland’s Mike Peluso would have the only goal of the middle frame, on the power play at 1:24, so tie the game 2-2 after two periods of play. In the third Derek Bekar would break the tie with a goal assisted by Shayne Toporowski and Tyler Harlton at 15:55. Bartecko would seal the victory with an empty net goal at 19:27, with Bryce Salvador and Tyson Nash assisting. Brent Johnson had 22 saves for the victory.

1999 at Hershey 6-3 win
(TICKER) Marty Reasoner and Jim Campbell each had two goals and an assist as the Worcester Ice Cats doubled up the Hershey Bears, 6-3. Reasoner opened the scoring with a power-play goal six minutes into the game and added an empty-netter with 72 seconds left. Campbell gave Worcester a 3-1 lead with seven minutes left in the middle session and added a power-play tally with seven minutes left in the game. Marc Brown’s first point of the season proved to be the game-winning goal for the Ice Cats, who improved to 1-2-1 on the road. Mike Gaul scored a power-play goal midway through the final frame after collecting his 12th assist of the year for Hershey, which lost for the first time in seven road games

2004 vs Portland 4-3 OTL
(ICECATS) The Worcester IceCats rallied back from a 3-1 deficit in the third period to force overtime, but ultimately lost 4-3 to the Portland Pirates Saturday night. Worcester’s six-game winning-streak and five-game home unbeaten record was snapped with the loss. Portland used goals by Owen Fussey and Trent Whitfield to take a 2-0 lead into the third period. They were out shot 16-6 in the middle frame but were back-boned by the solid goaltending of Maxime Ouellet (33 saves). Brendan Brooks made it a 2-1 game just 2:45 into the third before Michel Periard reclaimed Portland’s two-goal lead at 6:43. Peter Sejna and Jon DiSalvatore scored one minute apart beginning at 8:30 to tie the game and guarantee the ?Cats a standings point. Portland’s Brooks Laich banged home the decisive goal 2:30 into the five minute overtime. Worcester’s Curtis Sanford stopped 20 of 24 shots in his second loss of the season.

2009 vs Manchester 2-1 win SO
(WORSHARKS) In a heated shootout, the Sharks defeated the first place Monarchs 2-1 on Friday night at the DCU Center riding on the goals from Dwight Helminen and Danny Groulx. Manchester’s Jonathan Bernier had 45 saves on the night, while Alex Stalock stopped 29 for Worcester. The Monarchs started the scoring at 4:22 in the first on the power play when David Kolomatis popped one past Worcester’s Alex Stalock through a screen. Worcester led in shots 14-8, but the Monarchs held their 1-0 lead after 20:00 minutes of play. At 4:25 in the second period, Matt Jones fed to Nicholas Petrecki who fired a slapshot from the blue line, which was tipped in by Dwight Helminen to give the Sharks their first goal of the night. The third period went scoreless, leaving each team with one goal and forcing overtime. Both the Sharks and Monarchs came close to scoring during the five minute overtime, but neither side capitalized. Worcester outshot the Monarchs 46-30 through 65 minutes. The shootout featured nine shooters per side. Worcester’s second shooter Dwight Helminen scored first. Manchester’s fifth shooter Trevor Lewis pushed one by Stalock to even the score. Danny Groulx, Worcester’s final shooter in the 9th round, had the game-winning goal to snag the 2-1 win for the Sharks. Tonight marked first shootout win of the season for the Sharks. With the win, the Sharks move to 8-3-0-1 (17 points) on the season.

2010 vs Manchester 3-2 win
(WORSHARKS) Sean Sullivan scored the Sharks third power play goal of the game with exactly six minutes remaining in the third period to propel Worcester to a 3-2 victory over the Manchester Monarchs at the DCU Center in Worcester on Saturday night. Jonathan Cheechoo scored in his second straight game and Steven Zalewski added two assists in the victory. Alex Stalock made 18 saves in his 4th victory in net as the Sharks improved to 3-0-0-1 in their last four games. Neither team would score in a defensive minded first period as the Sharks killed off two Manchester power play chances. Both Alex Stalock and Jeff Zatkoff were steady in goal as Worcester outshot the Monarchs 12-8 after a scoreless opening period. The Sharks would strike for two consecutive power play goals to open the second period. Jonathan Cheechoo (5th) gave Worcester a 1-0 lead after he fired the puck past Zatkoff from on top of the crease after a terrific behind the back pass from behind the net by James Marcou at 2:55. Brandon Mashinter (4th) gave the Sharks a 2-0 lead at 4:50 with a quick snap shot from the left slot after a great feed by Steven Zalewski from the Monarch’s goal line. Ray Kaunisto (2nd) got the Monarchs on the board at 8:02 on the breakaway and Oscar Moller (1st) deflected in a shot from on top of the circles by Dwight King at 14:41 to tie the score at 2-2. Shots were 15-14 in favor of Worcester through forty minutes of play. Dwight King was whistled for boarding at 12:22 after he hit Nick Schaus from behind deep in the Sharks zone and the Worcester power play made him pay. Sean Sullivan (2nd) scored from behind the net after he fired the puck off Zatkoff and into the twine at 14:00 after Zatkoff could not handle the original shot by Zalewski. The Monarchs were awarded a late power play but the Sharks were able to hang on for the 3-2 victory. The Sharks overall record improves to 5-3-1-2 (13pts) and to 3-1-1-1 (8pts) at the DCU Center.

2018 at Newfoundland 3-1 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (3-6-0-0, 6pts) dropped their fourth straight game with a 3-1 loss to the host Newfoundland Growlers (8-5-0-0, 16pts) in front of 2,618 fansat the Mile One Centre on Tuesday evening. Josh Holmstrom scored his team leading fifth goal of the season while Mitch Gillam made 30 saves in his first start since his loan back from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers as the Railers offense has scored just four goals in their last four games. Rookie Josh Kestner scored twice for the Growlers while Michael Garteig made 30 saves as Newfoundland won their season high third straight game. Newfoundland went ahead in the opening period as Derian Plouffe (2nd) raced down the middle and had his initial shot stopped by netminder Mitch Gillam but the puck then went off a skate in front and past Gillam at 11:37 to give the Growlers a 1-0 lead. Worcester would even the score at 14:29 as Josh Holmstrom (5th) took a centering feed from Woody Hudson and then scored on his own rebound for his team leading 5th goal of the season. Shots were 13-7 through 20 minutes of play in favor of the Railers in a 1-1 hockey game. Neither team scored in the second period as shots were 12-7 in the middle frame in favor of Newfoundland as both goaltenders made some nice saves. The two clubs headed to the second intermission in a 1-1 draw. Josh Kestner (5th and 6th) got the game winning goal at 3:58 of the third period and added an insurance strike at 10:42 on the power play as Newfoundland pulled away in the final frame for the 3-1 victory.

2021 vs Florida 4-2 loss
(RAILERS) Railers fans have learned to curb their enthusiasm in recent seasons, but they had to figure that a roster that featured three former National Hockey League players including their first-ever ex-NHL goalie might provide them with a reason to be optimistic on IceCats Night here Saturday. It didn’t happen. The Railers were beaten by the Florida Everblades, 4-2, to fall to 1-3-0. It is the worst start in franchise history. However, if it is any consolation, the 2019-20 team had the best start ever at 3-1-0 but finished with the worst record. Once again, Worcester outshot the opposition but was outscored. Florida got a pair of goals from Blake Winiecki and the Railers could use a guy like that. Winiecki has played 181 games for the Everblades and scored 62 goals. Maybe it’s the weather. Blake Christensen and John Furgele scored for the home team. Chris McKay and Bobo Carpenter had the other Everblades goals, Carpenter’s coming into an empty net. The Railers had the early lead and in hockey, the first goal usually signals a victory. Not this time. Worcester was outscored in the second period, 3-1, and never recovered. “We have to manage the game. Every game is a tight game. Any team can beat any other eam in this league,” Railers coach David Cunniff said. “It’s so close. The margin of error is very, very tight and for us to win hockey games we have to manage the game. “In the second period you can’t turn the number of pucks over that we did. You’ve got to manage your shift length, because if you don’t you become fatigued and you make bad decisions.”
Worcester scored the game’s first goal, converting a power play chance at 7:33 of the first period with Christensen getting his first goal as a Railer. He was set up by Nolan Vesey and Jacob Hayhurst and finished the play with a 35-foot wrist shot off the near post. The Railers maintained that lead until the game was almost half over, at which point things went in the wrong direction. The Everblades scored three times in the next seven minutes, that streak interrupted by Furgele’s goal. McKay tied it at 9:51 of the second period as Florida outnumbered the Railers on the attack. The Everblades had a 3 on 2 with McKay trailing. He made it 1-1 with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. Winiecki scored his first of the game at 13:10, sliding a shot home from a scramble right in front of Worcester goaltender Ken Appleby. Furgele got that one back at 14:41, beating Tomas Vomacka with a high blast from the left circle. It was a one-timer, set up nicely by a pass from defense partner Connor McCarthy. However, the Railers were not able to maintain their momentum as Winiecki scored again from in close, this one a rebound at 16:32. Florida held the Railers at bay throughout the third period, then Carpenter sealed the deal with 40 seconds to go. Appleby, whose contract is with the Islanders, stopped 30 of 33 shots in becoming the first Railers goalie with NHL experience. He played in three games for the Devils in 2017-18. Appleby has plenty of ECHL experience, too, and had a career record of 56-25-10 heading into the night. Cunniff is convinced Worcester’s early problems are a matter of execution, game management, not talent. “That’s what’s exciting,” he said. “Yes — I think we can teach it.” Early in the season, it looks like the Railers have some homework to do. MAKING TRACKS_ The teams play again here at 3 Sunday afternoon. … Charlie Spetz, Liam Coughlin, Furgele and Ross Olsson made their 2021-22 debuts. Olsson switched from Number 9 to 23, his old college number and formerly worn by Woody Hudson. It was Spetz’ professional debut. … Colten Ellis, Nic Pierog and Nick Albano are up in the AHL with Springfield. … Attendance was 4,994. … Collin Adams, Tyler Poulsen, J.D. Dudek, Grant Jozefek, Brent Beaudoin and Karl Boudrias all did not dress for the Railers. … Ex-Railer Ben Masella was not in the lineup for Florida.

2022 vs Norfolk 5-2 Win
(RAILERS) If it weren’t for good news, the Railers wouldn’t have any. Their 5-2 victory over the Norfolk Admirals here Sunday afternoon has put them on the verge of going where no Worcester hockey team has ever gone before, and no ECHL team has gone before. The triumph extended their season-opening winning streak to eight games. That ties the 2014-15 Sharks for the longest winning streak of any kind by a city team. They won eight straight from Jan. 4, 2015 through Jan. 21. It also ties the league record for best start ever. Dayton was 8-0-0 to begin the 1994-95 season. Trenton did it in 2001-02. The afternoon’s outline is simple. The Railers were ahead, 5-0, going into the third period, then gave up two goals in the final 1:35. Quinn Ryan, Brent Beaudoin, Collin Adams, Jimmy Lambert and Jacob Hayhurst had the goals. Adams and Lambert also had assists. Defenseman Christian Evers was plus-3. Ryan MacKinnon had an assist and was plus-4. The victory put Worcester back in first place as Newfoundland was idle. In his second incarnation as a Railer, MacKinnon is plus-15 for the season, best in the league by far. “This is just a good hockey team,” was his take on Worcester’s fabulous start. “Every night it’s somebody different. You win games with everybody on the ice. There are no names, no numbers, it’s everybody contributing. Any time you have guys who can skate like this, who can think the game, you’ll have a dangerous lineup. “The hardest part for us is to make sure we keep playing like it’s a 1-0 hockey game.” Wins and losses are the ultimate numbers but a lot goes into creating them. Perhaps the most telling number is that Worcester has played 483 minutes of hockey so far this season and has trailed for a grand total of 15 minutes, 38 seconds. Ryan scored his first Railers goal just 2:31 after the opening faceoff. Beaudoin got his fifth of the year at 8:25; it was his 20th in a Worcester uniform overall. Adams, Lambert and Hayhurst put it away with second-period goals. The Admirals had the only goals of the third period. Aidan Brown scored at 18:35, Cody Milan at 19:57. The goals wrecked Ken Appleby’s shutout bid. Brown’s goal is the latest to ruin a shutout in Railers history. However, Appleby is 5-0-0 to start the season and his assist on Adams’ goal was his second in those five games. Appleby had two assists total in his previous 186 pro games. MacKinnon played 124 games in Worcester before his return this season and skated for some good teams, and some not-so-good. His career numbers in those first 124 left him at minus-15. It has taken him eight games this time back to make up the difference. “It is definitely strange to be back here,” MacKinnon said, “but I’ve always loved Worcester. It’s always had a special place in my heart. It’s where I started my pro career and I’ve definitely seen a lot of things here. “It’s great to be part of such a good team.” MAKING TRACKS – Anthony Repaci’s empty net goal Saturday night was his 25th as a Railer. He is one of just five Railers with that many career goals. Tyler Barnes is next on the list with 28. … The teams finish the series with a school-day game a 10:05 Tuesday morning. … Smotherman made a couple of lineup changes as Liam Coughlin, Noah Delmas, Myles McGurty and Steve Jandric were rested. Trevor Cosgrove, Ryan, Blake Christensen and Christian Evers returned to action. … Worcester’s three pro teams lead Norfolk’s pro teams, 23-12-4, in the all-time series. … For comparison purposes, it took last season’s Railers 19 games to get to eight wins. … Attendance was 2,710. … Worcester has scored first in seven of eight games and Railers players have been named as 22 of a possible 24 Three Stars nominations. Appleby leads with two picks as Number One star.


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